Dilemma, dilemma…

I have a hard time parting with stuff. Useable stuff that is. I have clothing that is tattered and worn but I keep it to wear when I work on messy projects. I use pencils until they are too short to hold on to, still I keep them “just in case”. I have a pair of kitchen tongs that still work IF you align them up correctly & hold what remains of the rusted out hinge pin in place. I put kitchen tongs on my “keep an eye out for” list. I use this list when I’m shopping. Since putting the tongs on the list I’ve come across a few pairs while thrifting. Each was overpriced or in almost as bad a shape as the ones I want to replace.


Saturday I delivered a wedding cake to 415 Westlake, an ‘urban chic’ venue in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle. Right next door to the reception hall was a Goodwill. It was my last delivery for the day so I decided to do a little shopping. I was warmly greeted as I walked into the smallest second hand store I’ve ever encountered. I was told that this is a ’boutique’ Goodwill mostly featuring “better clothing” I’m not in the market for clothes right now but I looked at the summer tops that were manager’s special 20% off. Two tops that appealed to me were each $14.99. Even with 20% off that’s more than I’m willing to pay (unless I had a particular need, as opposed to just picking something up because it is a good deal). Although the store didn’t have much in the way of house wares I did find a really nice pair of tongs for 69¢. (Macy’s sells them for $10.)

Heavy stainless steal, apparently unused, Kitchenaid® and they have a nice locking feature so they stay closed in the drawer.

Now here’s my dilemma. I have a nice new pair of tongs but I still want to keep the one that are next to useless, “just in case”.

My garbage can is most often only half full on collection day (once a month) It won’t really hurt to add these tongs to the landfill will it?

Maybe they will be handy to have for some craft project or something.

Is it frugality gone awry? Is it fear of deprivation? Am I a horder?

Do you have a hard time throwing stuff away, even when it is time to do so?

Should I keep the rusty hinge pined tongs?(see inset in picture above) Or send them to the land fill on October 1st?

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5 Responses to Dilemma, dilemma…

  1. When I’ve just replaced something very worn, this is my usual thought, “there will come a day when the new item is in worse condition than the old one”. And that’s what holds me back, at first, from throwing out the old. But then I tell myself that I will be able to replace this new one someday, too.
    If you can’t think of a way to use the tongs (you’re not into welding metal objects into art, are you?), and you don’t have anyone in your circle who could find a way to use them, then I’d say to get rid of them. Are they made of a sort of metal that could be recycled? If you’ve reasonably (and I add “reasonably” because you could go to great lengths to find a use, but your time and energy is valuable, too) exhausted the possibilities for use, then I don’t think it’s horrible to send them to the landfill.
    My two cents.

    • I wondered about recycling the metal. I guess I could put them in the recycle bin & let the recyclers decide. The new tongs are SO nice, so sturdy, made from heavier gauge metal, I think they will last the rest of my lifetime.

  2. susan trumbo says:

    Hello again,
    I’d keep the tongs, but then I’m a saver as well.
    The old ones would be good for perhaps propping up a drooping plant, or for a longer reach in back of a cabinet, even picking up something you’d rather not touch with your bare hands. My dear kitty was fond of bringing me gifts, the old tongs were a lifesaver!
    Hope this helps!

  3. Nicole says:

    I put my vote for throw them. I have two pair of tongs – but we use them frequently at the same time (one for salad, one for meat on the grill). If you have only needed one pair in the past, get rid of them and trust that when you need a new pair, you will be able to find another set.

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